Welcome to the New Year. I trust you are all well rested and ready to tackle the many challenges that lie ahead of us in 2015. I would like to start by wishing you all a very happy and prosperous new year and to thank you for taking the time to write to me over the holidays with your valid concerns affecting our industry.
Opposition has been growing following the announcement by the EAAB of the Continuing Professional Development Programme and we will continue our discussions with all stakeholders to provide you with resolutions when we know more.
During the course of the year, as a collective, we will take up the responsibility invested in us to interrogate new legislation with specific emphasis on the impending Property Practitioners Bill.
The real estate industry is in a highly challenging phase and we remain committed to ensuring our industry remains competitive, vibrant and prospering.
Compliance Practice Notes
As Practice Notes constitute a necessary mechanism for the implementation for the Estate Agency Affairs Act and regulations promulgated thereunder, you are advised that it is in your best interests to be aware of the contents of such Practice notes.
It is suggested that the Practice notes be regularly consulted to enable you to stay abreast of regulatory developments.
A copy is attached. Compliance Practice Note
These Practice Notes can be found on www.eaab.org.za under the tab “Notifications” on the left hand side of the landing page. They are also posted on the Home landing page from time to time.
Disqualification of Estate Agents
It is advisable that all members check their status on the EAAB’s website from time to time as you may not have received notification of disqualification and therefore not be aware of it.
On 4 December, 2014 the EAAB posted a notice i.r.o. “DISQUALIFICATION OF ESTATE AGENTS RELATING TO FIDELITY FUND CERTIFICATES DUE TO NON-COMPLIANCE WITH AUDIT REPORTS SUBMISSION REQUIREMENTS” which is attached for your reference. Disqualification of Estate Agents – EAAB
Continuing Professional Development ‘CPD’
The REBOSA Board of Directors met with Bryan Chaplog, CEO of the EAAB on 22 January, 2015.
At this meeting we discussed the industry’s concern around CPD including but not limited to:-
Industry consultation and collaboration
- Accredited CPD Service Providers
- Legislation and Regulations
- CPD Point Allocation (verifiable and non-verifiable)
Mr Chaplog has taken cognisance of our concerns and we have a follow up meeting scheduled, after which we hope to provide you with more information.
We understand your frustration and trepidations regarding this matter but ask for your patience while we continue meeting the relevant stakeholders with a view to a positive outcome for all concerned.
We are sorry we don’t have more information to offer you at this time but we will revert back by latest the middle of February, 2015.
Fidelity Fund Certificates Unclaimed from the Post Office
According to the EAAB, a number of 2014 and 2015 Fidelity Fund Certificates were returned unclaimed from the Post Office.
The Estate Agency Affairs Board (EAAB) has compiled an updated list of fidelity fund certificates that have been returned as unclaimed by estate agents from the various Post Office outlets. To find out if your company is on the list go to the EAAB website and type in the link below.
If your company name appears on this list, the EAAB request that you urgently contact their offices to make arrangements for them to either re-post or to collect your FFC from their offices.
We have been given to understand that there are costs involved in having these uncollected certificates returned to the EAAB; which cost may be debited to the agents, resulting in further difficulties down the line. Therefore, should you receive notice of registered mail, please collect as soon as possible.
Electronic Publication of FFC’s
Due to technical difficulties, FFC’s can only be published on www.eaab.org.za. You are invited to look under My EAAB to access your certificate. Please bear in mind that they have started loading certificates at the beginning of the alphabet, therefore, not everyone’s certificate may have been loaded to date according to current information.
Electronic Submission – Compliance
In a recent meeting with the CEO of the EAAB, Mr Bryan Chaplog, it was again emphasised that we will experience far less administrative problems if we all rather submit our documentation electronically and quite frankly only communicate with the EAAB electronically wherever possible.
This course of action is strongly recommended.
It goes without saying that strict compliance with all regulations is advisable. It is pointless to write to the EAAB asking for an extension of time to submit financial statements and such like. Non-compliance of regulations has the unfortunate result of the “automatic” part of the process falling away and thus resulting in human intervention. This will inevitably result in frustration.
BUSA Legislative Report of 2014
In this report which is attached, you will find information on labour law changes that transpired during 2014 including:-
• A guest article by BUSA associates and labour law experts, Johnny Goldberg and Grant Wilkinson
• Labour Relations Amendment Act 2014 – President announces date of operation: 1 January 2015
The ‘One Learner-One Estate Agency’ Youth Programme
The EAAB is actively seeking the cooperation of all registered estate agency enterprises, and particularly that of medium to small estate agency firms, in pledging to act as mentors/host employers to the intern estate agents who will be participating in the ‘One Learner – One Estate Agency’ Youth Programme.
Members are strongly recommended to register for this programme on www.eaab.org should they wish to be considered for the programme.
We have been advised by Mr Bryan Chaplog that this programme is already operative with the only outstanding portion being those participants who require funding. This is still under consideration and he is finalising the requirements as set out by Services Seta. A communication is to follow.
The EAAB have made available a brochure on the programme which is available on their website under the “One Learner – One Estate Agency” tab on the right hand side of the home landing page.
Is There An Employment Relationship Between Estate Agent And Principal?
We received an interesting presentation that was compiled by Mr Sarel Snyman of JobLaw, demonstrating the employment relationship between Estate Agents and Principals. Is there an Employment Relationship between Estate Agent and Principal
Property Practitioners Bill
As promised previously, we will endeavour to keep you updated on developments in this regard. The bill has yet to be published and when it is, we will be afforded a 60 day opportunity to comment.
Comment on Section 57 of the Property Practitioners Bill which will replace the current Article 34(a) of the current Estate Agencies Affairs Act.
Article 34(a) of the existing Act reads:
34A. Estate agent not entitled to remuneration in certain circumstances.
No estate agent shall be entitled to any remuneration or other payment in respect of or arising from the performance by such person of any act referred to in that paragraph, unless at the time of the performance of the act a valid fidelity fund certificate has been ISSUED to such person.
Section 57 of the Property Practitioners Bill reads:
57. (1) A property practitioner is under no circumstances entitled to any remuneration or other payment in respect of or arising from the performance of any act referred to in subparagraph (i), (ii), (iii), or (iv) of paragraph …… etc. etc. unless at the time of the performance of that act – etc. etc. is in POSSESSION of a fidelity fund certificate.
Please refer to the full clauses of the Estate Agency Affairs Act and the Property Practitioners Bill in this attachment Section 57 Property Practitioners Bill
You will note that Section 57 of the Bill is much more onerous. Previously agents were not entitled to commission if FFC’s were not “issued”. The Property Practitioners Bill reads that an agent is not entitled to commission if not in “possession” of such a Fidelity Fund Certificate. Problems this would pose need not be explained.
Home Inspection Regulation
Much has appeared in the press as to the “imminent” appointment of home inspectors and the impact that it would have on the industry.
This appears to be somewhat pre-mature as there is no legislation in terms of which this can be carried out at the moment.
We include herewith for your perusal a letter from Peter Dykes from Dykes van Heerden. Home Inspector Letter – DVH